EarthHour 2008 – A Success

Last night was EarthHour 2008.  For those that don’t know, EarthHour is a grass roots effort to promote action in climate change; at 8pm, March 29th, where ever you are, turn out all of the lights for one hour.  I went one step further by turning off all of my electronics, computers, cell phone and anything else that consumed power (yes, the frig too) and used my olive oil lamps as a light source.  It was fantastic and I learned how quiet the house really is when all that stuff is turned off.

My EarthHour might seem a little extreme, but I think it is more than just showing support for change in climate change policy.  In fact, it is an hour that is yours, only yours. I had a book that I have been wanting to read, but I just haven’t had the time, too many other things happening around me.  So, last night, amidst olive oil lamps, I started reading this book after a short meditation period.  I got halfway through it before the hour was up.  It was awesome.  Not only had my progress toward my own goals, but I also saved energy!

For more information on EarthHour and how you can take action against climate change, please visit their website.  Soon they will be announcing EarthHour 2009!


Grumman Tiger AA-5B for FSX-SP2!

Piglet made my day when I saw that he released his Grumman American AA-5B Tiger for FSX, with SP2 compatibility. This aircraft was always at the top of my list for best FS9 freeware aircraft. It is simply astonishing at the level of detail and how accurately it flies. It’s not fast, it’s not sexy, but it flies and flies well. Not to mention, there is a large cult of people that still worship those that are still in the skies today.

Leaving SBA,rwy 15L

For more information, please visit the FSX forum over at Sim-Outhouse where the original announcement was made. In addition the files you need are located in their library. Look for files: and In addition, user “Nils” has linked to a download of his tweaks to the panel that include stock gauges and support for RXP gauges. Check it out and don’t let registration stop you, Sim-Outhouse is a great community!

Author: Tim ‘Piglet’ Conrad
Filename: and (sim-outhouse)
File Size: 3.7mb, 468kb

POSKY’s CRJ700 News

I was perusing Project Opensky‘s (POSKY) forum and found a stunning post giving an update on their reworked CRJ700 for FS2004 (FS9). The project has spanned three years, with the latest version undergoing an extensive rework where much appreciated detail has been added to the model. From the pics in their forum, this is going to give the FSX Crj700 a run for its money. I knew there was still a lot of life left in FS2004, this aircraft release will give it even more life! Expect release in a few months with possible variations including the CRJ705 and CRJ900 models.

9/17 – update : THe CRJ-700 v3 has been released. See my release post here:

Colcannon – A True Irish Dish

Since today is the original St. Patrick’s day for 2008 (the church moved it to Monday since it was interfering with their holy week), I thought I would celebrate by making something other than the typical Irish-American corned beef and cabbage. After reading a number of Irish country cooking books, it was clear that Colcannon is a very special dish as it is served serving the Lugnasa (August) Festival following the first harvesting of the new potatoes of the season. Often, this meal was started out with a saying, “Death to the Red Hag,” referring to famine.


The dish is quite simple, consisting of leeks, cabbage, potatoes, butter, garlic, salt, ground pepper and mace. Simply braise the cabbage until tender and set aside. Boil sliced potatoes with the skins on until tender and set them aside. Clean and slice the leeks and place them in a saucepan, covering them with milk. Bring to a near boil and simmer until tender. Mash the potatoes and add the leeks and cabbage, but don’t mash the leeks and cabbage too much. Add the salt, garlic, mace, ground pepper and butter. Pour into an oven safe dish, make some kind of a neat design on the top and then broil until browned. Serve once cooled slightly.

My impression is that this is nothing more than mash potatoes with a bit of spice. I used a combination of allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon as I didn’t have any mace sitting around, so I think the spice was more intense than it needed to be. I would probably add a bit more garlic and salt, as well.  I might even try it with red cabbage and rosemary, which has more flavor than the white cabbage. Heck, I might even stir in some chopped Irish Boar sausages or corned beef for experimentation.

The Best Looking BBJ for Flightsim!

Nicholas Chapman did us all a great favor by painting up N888TY, a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ).  It  has got to be one of the most fabulous paint schemes to ever adorn an aircraft.   This livery is special to me, as N888TY is often parked on the ramp at Santa Barbara Municipal airport (SBA).  In the late evening light, it is absolutely stunning.  In the photo below, you can see it in the background as a Gulfstream takes off.  The screenshots that follow are from FS9, although FSX compatible files are included.

real world pic (N888TY in the background)

Something is coming our way

YES!Its the coolest BBJ ever!

Touching down on Rwy 25, SBA.

Parked in her spot, SBA.


File Size: 9,799kb
File Name: (avsim)
Repaint Author: Nicholas Chapman
Model by: Project Opensky

Papermodel “Dog Trot” Kit v0.2

I spent some time with my pencil, paper, and ruler and measured out a basic kit for the “dog trot” papermodel toolshed living unit I designed. I started typing this post offline, but before I knew it, it had exploded into a mini documentary of what sustainable living is and how this design fits into it. It was way too complex for what I wanted. I simply wanted to present the model, it being what it is. I even lightly colored the base paper with color pencil to show the ground layout; the brick along the front and down the “breezeway”, the black represents the parking area, and green is grass.

One thing I must note is that this design is NOT a dog trot living unit. A dog trot design has all rooms under a single roof, with the breezeway being half the width of the front rooms. Since the pictures below show three toolsheds, this is simply a dog trot inspired design.


The Front View


The Front Perspective


The Back Left View


The Back Right View

I have not decided if I will make this version of the model available. The roofs are currently not part of the kit and it looks rather rough. I think I might refine it some more before releasing it. If anyone is interested in such a kit, please leave a comment. It might inspire me to work harder on it!